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Photo Credits: Model - Claudia Meyer; Women in wheat field, coastal line, sofa - Belovodchenko Anton

Fashion UK

Fashion UK Background

Fashion UK's manufacturing industry generates tens of billions of British pounds every year.  In spite of this, UK is a net importer of clothing due to the influx of low price clothing from abroad.  To become competitive, UK manufacturers of fashion UK have migrated to the high end upscale market.  

Fashion has been portrayed as one of the most glamour careers in the world.  While few actually make it to the mega success level of a Donna Karan or a Nicole Miller, many are making a viable living behind the scenes in support of Fashion UK.

What is UK Fashion?

On a global perspective, the British fashion industry is diminutive compared to the power fashion houses of Italy or France.  So what is British fashion?  When someone thinks of British fashion, images of traditional fabrics manufactured with high quality are often top of mind. Whether they are shirts, boots, knitwear, or woven fabrics (tweeds and tartans), traditional is the design's heritage.  This has been exemplified by the British men or women's tailored clothing.

The Fashion and Textile Supply Chain

The Fashion and Textile Supply Chain involves four major groups of businesses:

  1. Yarn suppliers
  2. Fabric manufacturers
  3. Garment suppliers
  4. Retailers.

    Someone interested in a Fashion UK career can tap into any of the four supply chain areas.  Furthermore, many of the fashion and textile products in UK are purchased overseas resulting in import opportunities with the Far East, India, Bangladesh, Turkey and Eastern Europe.

Fashion UK Buyers

Fashion buyers are responsible for the managing a range of fashion products for a specific customer type and a price target.  The Fashion Buyer takes advantage of the globalization of the Fashion market.   The major producers for low cost fashion UK imports are from:

Fashion buyers work with contacts for the manufacturing and distribution of the Fashion UK industry. These contacts include the garment manufacturers, agents, indirect importers, wholesalers or the retailer's overseas sourcing office.

Importers in Fashion Design

Certain fabrics used in fashion design have to be imported due to labour costs, raw material availability and copyright.  The fabric is often ordered in advance and stored in a warehouse to meet market needs. Fashion designers will partner with importers to reduce the complexities of having to do the importing themselves.    

Fashion UK  Retail Structure

There are a number of Fashion UK retail formats which clothing is sold through.  Discounters such as Wal-mart remain the dominant retail structure for Fashion UK.  Supermarkets, Clothing Multiples and Clothing Independents are other major retail channels for fashion UK. Supermarkets have been a growing channel with the majority of the shoppers being women between 35 to 55 years old.

Fashion UK Categories

Fashion UK covers a wide range of items which are proven opportunities for the importer.

The core clothing category varies from:

The fashion related products include a whole range of accessories:

Fashion UK related services are adjacent industries which generate revenue from fashion:

As an importer who wants to bring fashion related goods to UK, there are a wide range of opportunities.  You can get involved with supplying textiles or yarn to the fashion design houses.  You can also import clothing to sell in your retail or online store.   These are just some examples but the business opportunities are endless.